Support VSSA Advertisers

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Air Rifle Law Topic of Blacksburg Town Council Elections

It seems some people still have their knickers in a wad over the new air rifle law that took effect July 1 of this year.  The Virginia Tech student newspaper published this Q & A with most of the Town Council Candidates running in this year's election and the new law was one of the questions posed.  Two of the candidates said they would like the new law repealed.
Paul Lancaster:
I think it should be repealed. I think it should be up to the locality. That’s one thing the General Assembly likes to do, to pass a law that may be great for one locality but they think it will apply to everybody. To a person, when the current council voted on that, the town attorney made changes in the town code to accommodate that. They all voted ‘aye’ because they had to, it’s state law, but they all complained that they didn’t want to do it. This is not a town that needs a pellet gun being run around. I can see someone driving around town late at night shooting up windows. It just doesn’t make any sense to me to have it in Blacksburg.
John Bush:
Right now, I would have to say that it should be repealed and left to the localities. It’s interesting to me that we have basically a Republican-led General Assembly — that’s the same party that talks about local rules and local government and states being able to say what they need and what works best for them when they talk about the federal government. But we’re a Dillon Rule state, and what the Dillon Rule essentially means is that localities cannot pass their own laws if it isn’t something the General Assembly has already allowed to happen. When they passed the law that says pneumatic guns can be used in town limits, we didn’t have a choice. We had to pass it. Personally, for this town, I don’t think it’s a good idea.
None of the candidates however were happy with the law, nor were they happy with the Dillon Rule, which governs what localities can and can't do.

I would remind Mr. Bush and Mr. Lancaster that there have been no report of air rifles causing harm to neighbors or their property since the law took effect.

No comments: